Mumbai: `Visit Golden Maharashtra`, a joint
initiative of Maharashtra Economic Development Council (MEDC),
Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and the
State Government will provide special tourism accreditation to
Pandharpur Yatra, as part of its year-long promotion of
Pandharpur Yatra, world`s largest religious padyatra,
comprises over 1 million pilgrims travelling for 21 days to
the Vithoba temple by foot. Numerous palkhis from various
towns and villages join the main palkhi that starts from Sant
Tukaram Temple at Dehu in Pune district. The yatra culminates
at the Vithoba temple on Ashadi Ekadasi, which falls on July
21, this year.
Visit Golden Maharashtra, mandated with promoting
Maharashtra as a global tourism powerhouse and facilitating
various types of tourism and various locations for tourism in
the 50th anniversary of Maharashtra, will offer special
accreditations to key initiatives.
The accreditation will mean provisioning of information
and logistical support, promotions to place the activity or
destination on the global tourism map, marketing support and
facilitating private players to introduce special packages.
Key travel and trade bodies are partnering the Visit Golden
Maharashtra initiative, says Vinod Gupta, Vice President -
"The significance and relevance of Pandharpur yatra is
not currently positioned to its potential. Besides being the
world`s single largest religious padyatra, it holds importance
to a very large section of the society. Its potential within
the religious tourism segment is vast. We intend to identify
and hard promote such tourist attractions," said Gupta.
"Maharashtra is a land abundant in natural glory. Besides
scenic beaches on the Konkan coast, the towering Sahyadri
ranges, wildlife reserves at Tadoba and Pench, the state also
offers potential for harnessing unexplored segments like
adventure tourism, eco-tourism, wine tourism and Bollywood
tourism," he said.
Launched in April this year by Tourism minister
Vijaykumar Gavit, `Visit Golden Maharashtra` has conducted an
industry conference to chart strategies for tourism growth of
Maharashtra. The initiative proposes to hold year-long
activities to showcase Maharashtra to rest of the globe and
initiate policy measures to drive tourism growth.
Currently, it is in the process of drawing up a white
paper on tourism. It is scheduled to be published and
presented to the Chief Minister in July. Various other
initiatives have been lined up and will be held across the
various parts of Maharashtra.
"Visit Golden Maharashtra is one of the most ambitious
tourism initiatives of the state and will herald this golden
state to a golden era," he said.